The Pain of Regret
69 Now Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard. And a servant girl came up to him and said, “You also were with Jesus the Galilean.” 70 But he denied it before them all, saying, “I do not know what you mean.” 71 And when he went out to the entrance, another servant girl saw him, and she said to the bystanders, “This man was with Jesus of Nazareth.” 72 And again he denied it with an oath: “I do not know the man.” 73 After a little while the bystanders came up and said to Peter, “Certainly you too are one of them, for your accent betrays you.” 74 Then he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know the man.” And immediately the rooster crowed. 75 And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.” (Matthew 26:69-75, ESV)
Peter’s Disavowal of Jesus! (vs. 70, 72 & 74)
31 Then Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away because of me this night. For it is written, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ 32 But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” 33 Peter answered him, “Though they all fall away because of you, I will never fall away.” 34 Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.”35 Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same....” (Matthew 26:31-35, ESV)
Peter’s Bitter Pain of Regret! (v.75)
75 And Peter remembered the saying of Jesus, “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” And he went out and wept bitterly.”
“9 But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” 10 And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” (Genesis 3:9-10, ESV)
“11 Cast me not away from Your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. (Psalm 51:11-12, ESV)
“We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life” (Romans 6:4, ESV)
“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 8:1, ESV)
The Pain of Regret
Guilt is a natural response to sin and can lead us in one of two directions. Guilt’s purpose is to bring about conviction, which leads to repentance, which restores us to God! However, when guilt is not handled biblically, it does not lead to conviction—but to condemnation. Two emotions often associated with condemnation in scripture are “regret” and “defeat.” When we are mired in these emotions and stuck in a state of condemnation, we are further separated from God.
As a group, look at Romans 8:1. What does this passage tell us about condemnation and believers?
The way to overcome “regret” and “defeat,” and avoid continuation in a state of condemnation, is to find our HOPE in Christ! Today’s study will examine this topic through the passage of Micah 7:1-10. This passage breaks down, very cleanly, into two distinct parts. The first part is vv.1-6, and the second part is vv.7-10. Let’s read these verses together and discuss them as a group!
1) Read vv.1-6 as a group. Micah is talking about the nature of man. He is talking about the prevalence of sin and how godliness seems to be extinct within the human race. As a group, point out some phrases that he uses to highlight these arguments.
2) What are some words that you would use to describe Micah’s emotions in vv.1-6?
3) How does v.7 change the tone and direction of this passage?
4) As a group…identify the “theme” of vv.7-10.
5) How does v.8 display an outright claim of victory over “despair” and “regret”?
6) Why do you think that Micah uses the phrase “when I fall” and not “if I fall” in v.8?
7) How does v.9 show us to have “Hope in Christ”?
8) Why does Micah look to CHRIST to “plead my cause,” “execute judgment for me,” and give Him “vindication”?
9) If it is GOD that we have sinned against and not Satan, why does Satan try and make us feel guilty?
If it is God that we have sinned against, then why is it Satan who seeks to make us feel guilty and defeated? It is because Satan wants his weapons back. Colossians 2:15 says that Satan has been disarmed. He has nothing left to fight with, unless he can trick us into giving him back his weapons. This can happen when we let our guilt lead to regret, defeat, and condemnation, rather than conviction. Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” Our guilt should lead us to repentance, not condemnation. The Prophet Micah displays for us, in this passage, a great sense of hope when he says, “I will look to the Lord, I will wait for my salvation; my God will hear me.” His hope allows him to wait on GOD… not panic in his circumstances! In the midst of all that he described in vv.1-6, the depravity of man and the prevalence of sin, Micah says that He will look to the Lord for hope! This should be the mentality of every believer in CHRIST, but often it is not. Far too often, we do allow our circumstances to bog us down in misery and despair—taking our eyes off of Christ.